USD’s creators recognised by the Academy

The designers and engineers behind the Universal Scene Description (USD) framework, F. Sebastian Grassia, Alex Mohr, Sunya Boonyatera, Brett Levin, and Jeremy Cowles, have together won one of 2024’s Scientific and Technical Academy Awards.

Some of 2024’s other Scientific and Technical Academy Award winners

James Eggleton and Delwyn Holroyd “for the design, implementation and integration of the High-Density Encoding (HDE) lossless compression algorithm within the Codex recording toolset” – Certificate.

Charles Q. RobinsonNicolas TsingosChristophe ChabanneMark Vinton and the team of software, hardware and implementation engineers of the Cinema Audio Group at Dolby Laboratories “for the creation of the Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound System” – Plaque.

What is USD?

Developed by Pixar, Universal Scene Description (USD) is the first open-source software that can robustly and scalably interchange 3D scenes that may be composed of many different assets, sources, and animations, while fostering highly collaborative workflows.

At Pixar, engineers work hand in hand with artists to create innovative technologies, tools, and pipelines that make our films. In this clip from Toy Story 4, millions of models, textures, lights, and colors are possible because of the power of USD architecture.

Pixar’s USD web page

Without USD, Pixar would not be able to do what they do. Every character, location and every image in their films is built on top of and enabled by USD, which is in a constant state of development.

USD was sent to help us with our workflows. Are you using it yet?

If you would like any advice, guidance or support regarding the use of USD as part of your production workflow, please get in touch. Your Mondatum contacts are John Rowe ( and Colin Birch (